World War I https://www.americanheritage.com/ en When the Bonus Army Marched on DC https://www.americanheritage.com/when-bonus-army-marched-dc-0 <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">When the Bonus Army Marched on DC</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/paul-dickson" lang="" about="/users/paul-dickson">Paul Dickson</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-06-23T17:53:59+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 06/23/2020 - 13:53</span> Tue, 23 Jun 2020 17:53:59 +0000 Paul Dickson 133166 at https://www.americanheritage.com Best Memoirs of the Great War https://www.americanheritage.com/best-memoirs-great-war <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Best Memoirs of the Great War</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edward-g-lengel" lang="" about="/users/edward-g-lengel">Edward G. Lengel</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2019-07-04T10:46:02+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/04/2019 - 06:46</span> Thu, 04 Jul 2019 10:46:02 +0000 Edward G. Lengel 132969 at https://www.americanheritage.com Remembering the "Wild West" Division in WWI https://www.americanheritage.com/remembering-wild-west-division-wwi <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Remembering the &quot;Wild West&quot; Division in WWI</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor" lang="" about="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor">Edwin S. Grosvenor</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2019-02-21T20:17:05+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/21/2019 - 15:17</span> Thu, 21 Feb 2019 20:17:05 +0000 Edwin S. Grosvenor 132807 at https://www.americanheritage.com The Woman Who Said “No” to War https://www.americanheritage.com/content/no-to-war <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Woman Who Said “No” to War</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/bruce-watson" lang="" about="/users/bruce-watson">Bruce Watson</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:35</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><p><em><a href="http://www.americanheritage.com/users/bruce-watson">Bruce Watson</a>, a Contributing Editor of American Heritage, writes blogs for our website and his own at <a href="https://www.theattic.space/about/">TheAttic.space</a>.</em></p> <p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"> <img alt="Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dc3420bf-718a-482e-9047-63dba7ae2dfb" height="276" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/rankin%2Bportrait.jpg" width="276" /> <figcaption><em>Jeannette Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress.</em></figcaption> </figure> </p> <p>The <a href="https://www.theattic.space/new-page-1-1">drums of war</a> were sounding when, in March 1917, Jeannette Rankin arrived in Washington DC.  As the first woman to serve in Congress, she was ready to fight for women’s suffrage, against child labor, and for families nationwide.  But war intervened -- twice.</p> <p>Feisty and free-thinking, Jeannette Rankin is scarcely the type of politician we have come to expect.  But a century ago, when campaigns were waged by train and votes tallied by hand, Rankin embodied the fierce individualism that made Americans proud. Her election to Congress would have made history even had she not said “no” to war.  But uncompromising principle made her “America’s conscience.”</p> <p>Montana was still a territory when Rankin was born in Helena in 1880, the oldest of seven children.  Her brother, Wellington, was the family favorite, being the only boy in the brood, but Jeannette took on any family chore her brother could.  Montana, with its sawtooth mountains and vast prairies, did much to shape her, yet she had a lifelong love/hate affair with the state. “Go! Go! Go!” she wrote in an early journal. “It makes no difference where just so you go! Go! Go!  Remember at the first opportunity, go!”</p> <p>She never stopped going.  All her life she would pack up and move, travel, investigate, move again.</p> <div class="insertable">Rankin advocated for woman's suffrage, child welfare, urban reform, and -- above all else -- peace.</div> <p>Teaching -- her mother’s profession -- frustrated her.  Admiring Jane Addams’ <a href="https://www.hullhousemuseum.org/">Hull House</a>, Rankin worked in a similar settlement house but “couldn’t take” the poverty.  During America’s Progressive Era (1900-1915), causes called.  Child welfare.  Women’s suffrage.  Urban reform.  Rankin worked for all but with Europe plunged into war, she was drawn to the oldest cause of all -- peace.  Then in 1915, when Montana gave women the vote for all offices except president, her path was cleared to Congress.</p> <p><img alt="flyer for Rankin" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e76068ea-376f-4f32-bbb2-1c721eb9229c" height="271" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/ballot_0.jpg" width="525" class="align-left" />She ran a dazzling campaign.  Though branded “brazen” and “unladylike,” she spoke all over the enormous state.  The Montana Republican party wanted her off their ticket but her rallies grew.  One, she recalled, “drew more people than the Missoula theater could hold, despite a wet snowstorm.”  Come November, she came in second.  But Montana’s “at large” system gave seats to the top two vote getters.  By a margin of 7,567 votes, Jeannette Rankin, a straight-laced woman in a flowered<img alt="World War II newspaper." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d626bffc-50e1-4bc2-a5e4-f9b0fdcef382" height="299" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/newspaper%2B1941.jpg" width="451" class="align-right" /> hat, went to Washington, DC.</p> <p>Five days after she arrived, President Woodrow Wilson addressed Congress, calling for US entry into The Great War.  Rancorous debate followed.  Fifty other Congressmen voted “no,” but it was the Congress-woman’s vote that stood out.  “I wish to stand for my country,” she said, “but I cannot vote for war.”  Later she said, “I felt the first time the first woman had a chance to say no to war, she should do it.” One Montana paper denounced her “fit of female hysteria,” but another said, “We hold Miss Rankin wholly sincere in her vote and this should relieve her of any unnecessarily harsh criticism.”</p> <p>Montanans cherished independence but Anaconda Copper was not happy with Rankin’s support for a mining strike.  To defeat her, the state legislature divided Montana into two Congressional districts, east and west.  Rankin, having no chance of winning in either, ran for Senate in 1918.  Her loss began a twenty-year exile.</p> <div class="insertable">After losing her bid for re-election, Rankin was in exile for 20 years before being elected a second time -- just before the attack on Pearl Harbor.</div> <p>Reading Thoreau, she lived in a small Georgia cabin without water or electricity.  She helped Jane Addams start the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.  But for two decades, she longed for another shot at Congress.  And in 1940, still a Republican, now an avowed pacifist, she was elected again.</p> <p>She knew her second term would not be “thrilling like the last time,” but she saw a parallel.  Throughout the summer of 1941, another war was looming.  If Congress voted again, all eyes would be on her.  “I didn’t let anybody approach me,” she recalled.  “I just drove around Washington and got madder and madder because there were soldiers everywhere I went.”  Then -- Pearl Harbor. </p> <p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"> <img alt="A statue of Jeannette Rankin -- the first woman elected to Congress -- stands tall in the Capitol. Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="706df3fe-0ff1-442e-91d7-dab7944203be" height="605" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/statue%20of%20Rankin.jpg" width="240" /> <figcaption><em>A statue of Jeannette Rankin -- the first woman elected to Congress -- stands tall in the Capitol.  Courtesy of Architect of the Capitol.</em></figcaption> </figure> </p> <p>On December 8, 1941, FDR spoke of America’s “rendezvous with destiny.”  With American battleships in flames, there was no peace bloc as in 1917.  Every Congressman voted for war -- except one.  When her name came in the roll call, Rankin softly said “no.”  Hisses erupted.  Reporters followed her from the chamber, cornering her in a cloak room.  The press blasted her.  Letters called her a “Judas” and a “yellow-livered publicity-seeking disgrace to woman kind.”</p> <p>Rankin refused to apologize.  “Everyone knew that I was opposed to the war, and they elected me,” she said.  “I voted as the mothers would have had me vote.”</p> <p>Knowing her “no” had ended her political career, she did not run for re-election.  She returned to her reclusive life, speaking occasionally, traveling widely.  Then, all but forgotten, she inspired another generation of pacifists.</p> <p>In 1968, at the age of 88, she led 5,000 black-clad women, the Jeannette Rankin Peace Brigade, in a march protesting the Vietnam War.  “If we had 10,000 women willing to go to prison if necessary,” she said, “that would end it.”</p> <p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-left"> <img alt="Rankin lived long enough to demonstrate against the war in Vietnam." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2c89bdb7-cf0c-4a16-9b06-347f6031d6b2" height="246" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/rankin%2Bbrigade.jpg" width="341" /> <figcaption><em>Rankin lived long enough to join demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.</em></figcaption> </figure> </p> <p>Jeannette Rankin died in 1973.  Wars have come and gone, some “good,” some senseless, all devastating.  But courage, too, comes in many forms.  And the US Capitol Building now hosts a statue of a straight-laced woman in a flowered hat.  Etched in the pedestal are the words -- “I cannot vote for war.”<br />  </p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-keywords field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Keywords</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/category/article-keywords/world-war-i" hreflang="en">World War I</a></li> <li><a href="/category/article-keywords/jeannette-rankin" hreflang="en">Jeannette Rankin</a></li> <li><a href="/category/article-keywords/congress-us" hreflang="en">Congress (U.S.)</a></li> <li><a href="/category/article-keywords/congressional-history" hreflang="en">Congressional history</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 09 Jan 2019 22:35:40 +0000 Bruce Watson 132790 at https://www.americanheritage.com The "Wild West" Division Fights in Germany https://www.americanheritage.com/content/wild-west-germany <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The &quot;Wild West&quot; Division Fights in Germany</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edward-g-lengel" lang="" about="/users/edward-g-lengel">Edward G. Lengel</a></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 01/09/2019 - 17:12</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><p><figure role="group" class="caption caption-img align-right"> <img alt="The men of the 91st &quot;Wild West&quot; Division were from California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. " data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="eab966c2-4a2c-4cd6-a6f4-b6c7669cc573" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/Wild%20West%20Division%20cartoon_0.jpg" /> <figcaption><em>The men of the 91st "Wild West" Division were from California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. </em></figcaption> </figure> </p> <p><a href="https://www.americanheritage.com/users/edward-g-lengel">Edward Lengel</a> is a Contributing Editor of <em>American Heritage</em>, the author of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Edward-G-Lengel/e/B001HOG9OE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&amp;qid=1565285969&amp;sr=8-1">eleven books</a>, and the former historian of the White House Historical Society. His blogs can be found at <em><a href="http://www.edwardlengel.com/">EdwardLengel.com</a></em>.</p> <hr /> <p>The 91st “Wild West” Division was one of nine American divisions that assaulted German positions in the Meuse-Argonne on September 26, 1918. As befitted its name, the 91st was originally assembled from draftees inducted from the Rocky Mountain west. Their first days in action were indeed wild, as they attacked toward the enemy-held village of Gesnes against well-entrenched machine guns. Green though they were, the westerners fought with honor, but paid an ugly price. Among their number was the father of a future Hollywood movie star.</p> <p>The Assault Begins</p> <p>91st Division officers in training, 1917. National Archives<br /> First Lieutenant Frank L. Thompson of Montana, serving with the division’s 348th Machine Gun Battalion, encountered a group of enemy prisoners shortly after the attack began on September 26: “We stopped to rest a little, then our eyes popped out,” he later wrote. “Around a corner in the road came a doughboy and behind was what I took to be the German army. Eventually they proved to be only two hundred prisoners, and one officer. Instead of the brutal, bestial murderers of babies and rapers of women we saw a crown of blond blue-eyed boys and studious looking elderly men with spectacles. They were the meekest crowd to be posing as conquerors of the world I ever hope to see.” But he also encountered American wounded at an aid station: “Several men were there with limbs missing—one heavy weight boxer from Los Angeles had a leg off. He was unconscious.”</p> <p>On September 27, “at dawn, which broke dull and cloudy, the word came to advance. My platoon was told off to support ‘M’ Company of the 363rd Infantry,” Lieutenant Thompson remembered, “so over the hill we started. We had gone about 200 yards when ‘tst-tst-tst-tst!’ and we did an Annette Kellermann [a famous Austrian actress and diving champion] for Mother Earth. I heard a moan from behind and saw a man trying to get up—then he bent over as though to vomit and the blood gushed out in a stream from his mouth.” For two days the attack bogged down.</p> <p>Farley Granger Conquers Hell</p> <p>91st Division Field Hospital, 1918. National Archives<br /> Lieutenant Farley Granger of California, father of the future Hollywood star of the same name, served with the 362nd Regiment. On September 29 his outfit was ordered to assault Gesnes, even though, as he recalled, “up to this time the Regiment had fought for three days without hot food or coffee and but little water and cold food.” Casualties had been heavy, and many of the regiment’s officers considered the attack to be “madness.” As Lieutenant Granger watched, “Captain Montgomery remarked he feared such an advance impossible—that our losses would be terrible. Captain Bradbury answered ‘To hell with the losses—read the order.’”</p> <p>“Three bare rolling hills stretched toward Gesnes,” Granger observed. “Every square yard was visible from the higher hills beyond, occupied by the enemy, and the concrete pill-box on Hill 255, and every foot swept by machine-gun and artillery-fire. Protection there was none—not even concealment for one man. The gullies between the hills were swept by enfilading fire from the wooded hills above Gesnes, and the hillsides were commanded by nests hidden in the flanks.”</p> <p>“Bradbury turned to me and quietly said, ‘Well, Farley, lets go.’ I gave the signal to the Company Commanders and, despite the withering hail of steel and lead, as one man the leading Companies rose up and started forward. We moved off directly behind the first wave. Perhaps the charge of the Light Brigade was more spectacular, more melodramatic and picturesque, but not more gallant. Man after man fell but the others continued on through a ‘hell’ of shrapnel and machine gun fire as would be impossible to exceed.</p> <p>“Unfaltering the line of combat groups rolled steadily on over the open, a trailing wake of olive-drab marking its progress. One must not think of this as happening in an instant—over an hour of this bloody plodding along under a tornado of missiles passed before the worst was over. Finally the last crest was topped, and in irregular groups these Gallant boys swept down the last slope into Gesnes. At the first corner stood a German tank. This was taken and the crew shot as they tried to escape, and its gun turned on a machine gun nest.</p> <p>“The town was promptly cleared—the satisfaction of some bayonet work was given us. Now, however, with a machine gun bullet through my canteen, four holes through my loose trench coat and one more noticeable through my ankle I made my way back through the still heavy artillery barrage placed to prevent the advance of our Reserves. Dead and dying literally covered the field. Who was responsible for this costly order of attack, why this needless sacrifice of precious lives, was not for us to question.”</p> <p>A Soldier’s Message to His Son</p> <p>American Doughboys. National Archives<br /> Years later, in a commentary left for his son, Granger gave tribute to those who died: “Nor are the brave men who now lay forgotten in our Government Hospitals, broken in mind and body as a result of the war, any less heroes, than those who died in battle. Perhaps the sacrifice of the living is even greater. Still they live on; forgotten.</p> <p>“Do not think me bitter for it is quite natural to forget; that is life. On the contrary, I am exceedingly grateful to have had the privilege of my experiences; and the same ‘something’ that prompted me to go, would always make me feel I had not ‘kept faith’ had I remained at home. And greater than the satisfaction gained at having done my little part as best I could—I received the greatest of all rewards in having made a Mother proud.”</p> <p>Learn More About the AEF in World War I, and the Lost Battalion at War<br /> Learn more about the AEF in World War I and the famed Lost Battalion, in my upcoming book Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion! Please share your email address below. You’ll get monthly emails about research discoveries, book updates, and more.</p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-article-keywords field--type-entity-reference field--label-above field--entity-reference-target-type-taxonomy-term clearfix"> <h3 class="field__label">Keywords</h3> <ul class='links field__items'> <li><a href="/category/article-keywords/world-war-i" hreflang="en">World War I</a></li> </ul> </div> Wed, 09 Jan 2019 22:12:06 +0000 Edward G. Lengel 132789 at https://www.americanheritage.com What Germans Said About the Americans https://www.americanheritage.com/what-germans-said-about-americans <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">What Germans Said About the Americans</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor" lang="" about="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor">Edwin S. Grosvenor</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-10-30T14:35:34+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/30/2018 - 10:35</span> Tue, 30 Oct 2018 14:35:34 +0000 Edwin S. Grosvenor 132784 at https://www.americanheritage.com Agony of the Lost Battalion https://www.americanheritage.com/agony-lost-battalion <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Agony of the Lost Battalion</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edward-g-lengel" lang="" about="/users/edward-g-lengel">Edward G. Lengel</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-10-18T17:58:32+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:58</span> Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:58:32 +0000 Edward G. Lengel 132783 at https://www.americanheritage.com The Heartbreaking Loss of Lt. Quentin Roosevelt https://www.americanheritage.com/heartbreaking-loss-lt-quentin-roosevelt <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Heartbreaking Loss of Lt. Quentin Roosevelt</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor" lang="" about="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor">Edwin S. Grosvenor</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-10-16T17:02:43+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/16/2018 - 13:02</span> Tue, 16 Oct 2018 17:02:43 +0000 Edwin S. Grosvenor 132782 at https://www.americanheritage.com The Hello Girls https://www.americanheritage.com/hello-girls <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Hello Girls</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor" lang="" about="/users/edwin-s-grosvenor">Edwin S. Grosvenor</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-10-16T14:49:40+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/16/2018 - 10:49</span> Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:49:40 +0000 Edwin S. Grosvenor 132781 at https://www.americanheritage.com Belgians Deported to Slave Labor Camps https://www.americanheritage.com/belgians-deported-slave-labor-camps <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Belgians Deported to Slave Labor Camps</span> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"> <a title="View user profile." href="/users/jeffrey-b-miller" lang="" about="/users/jeffrey-b-miller">Jeffrey B. Miller</a></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-10-16T14:34:21+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 10/16/2018 - 10:34</span> Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:34:21 +0000 Jeffrey B. Miller 132780 at https://www.americanheritage.com